Honey Madeleines

  • Yield : 40 small cakes
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 7m
  • Ready In : 30m

The recipe

Madeleines are traditional small sponge cakes from the Lorraine region in northeastern France. They look particularly attractive when baked in shell mould baking trays, but that is not essential.  A genoise cake batter is used which gives them a lighter texture than more familiar sponge cakes. This recipe uses lemon zest and honey, but finely ground nuts can be added instead, and the finished cakes could also be dipped in melted chocolate. They are lovely served with a cup of tea and are great for dunking and also served as a dessert with poached fruit and a syrup.


  • 3 medium eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • butter and flour for greasing and dusting


Step 1

Lightly grease the Madeleine cake moulds with soft butter and dust with flour, tapping out any excess.

Step 2

In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar vigorously for 3 minutes, preferably using an electrical appliance so that the mixture becomes thick and mousse like, then whisk in the lemon zest.

Step 3

Sift the plain flour and baking powder together and then gently fold into the mix. Mix in the melted butter and honey then put the batter into the fridge and leave for 15 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, turn the oven on to 150°C/Gas Mark 2. This is a good temperature for cooking small madeleines using a baking tray with 70mm long moulds. Madeleines are prone to rising with humps when baking powder is used and the moulds over filled. If cooked for too long they may easily over brown.

Step 5

Half fill the moulds, put into the oven and cook for about 7 minutes, maybe longer for larger moulds. Turn out straight away onto a tray and serve. The batter can be left in the fridge for longer until needed as these little cakes are best eaten straightaway.

Recipe Type:
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